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First look: Great Britain’s new stars

Published 8 September 2014

It’s September, so the schools are full of new kids trying to make friends. Spare a thought for Lucy Punch and Ben Mansfield who are also doing just that in hit satire Great Britain.

Punch has replaced Billie Piper in the play that shocked everyone with the mere announcement that it was to be staged, that announcement coming, as it did, just days before the curtain was due to go up for the first performance.

Punch, who’ll soon be seen on the big screen in the movie adaptation of Into The Woods, plays Paige Britain, the News Editor of a tabloid paper caught up in a never-ending battle to grow a greater readership than its rivals.

Marsden, who also worked on One Man, Two Guvnors, the last collaboration between Great Britain’s writer and director Richard Bean and Nicholas Hytner, plays Assistant Police Commissioner Donald Doyle Davidson.

The comedy, if you’ve not worked it out from the mention of a newspaper editor and the police force, was inspired by the phone hacking scandal and runs its eye over the press, police and political establishment.

Great Britain, which also stars Robert Glenister, Kellie Shirley and Harriet Thorpe, is currently booking at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until January 2015.

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